Manilla Street Productions presentation of Amazing Grace, New York, New York proved a most enjoyable, educational and eye-opening experience.
Knowing nothing about calisthenics and not seeing the company’s, and indeed the world’s first, calisthenics theatre show in 2018 we had no idea what to expect.
After watching the 90 minute show, staged at Melbourne’s National Theatre, we discovered calisthenics is a very demanding and colourful activity which is best described as a mix of gymnastic and dance. If the skills of calisthenics performers who took to the stage are any indication, to be successful you need to be extremely strong, flexible, co-ordinated, rhythmic and energetic.
The ability to smile while moving your body in ways some of us could only dream about is also essential!
As well as showcasing the skills of Australia’s top and award winning calisthenics performers, the show also offered the chance for some of Australia’s younger and very talented musical theatre stars to shine. They included Nigel Huckle, Emily Langridge, Thomas McGuane, Stephanie Wall and Alexis Van Maanen.
The 40 member cast, together with an 11 piece orchestra, brought over 20 songs from Broadway to life including Big Spender, 42nd Street and One. The imaginative choreography and very colourful costumes added to the appeal of each of the numbers.
Having walked into the theatre ignorant of what we were to see, we left with great admiration for the skills of all the performers who took to the stage in this most colourful and entertaining song and dance show.
Only five performances Amazing Grace, New York, New York were staged at the National Theatre. Given the reaction of the crowd on the night we attended it’s very likely this won’t be the last time Manilla Street Production stages such a show.
Jenny Burns attended Amazing Grace, New York, New York on Saturday February 1 as a guest of the producers.
- live shows, Manilla Street Productions, Melbourne
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